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ni

ni!T'

WEISS'S COMMENTARY

ON THE

NEW TESTAMENT

VOLUME TWO

A COMMENTARY

ON THK

NEW TESTAMENT

BT

Professor BERNHARD WEISS, D.D.

or THX vNivsitmr or bxixjn

AUTHOR OF "THB RBLIGION OF THE NBW TB8TAMBNT," "INTRODUCTION TO THB NBW TBSTAMBNT," BTC.

TRANSI^TBD BY

Professor GEORGE H. SCHODDB, Ph.D.

AND

Professor EPIPHANroS WILSON, M.A.

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY

JAMES S. RIGGS, D.D.

Fn^aaor iff BibiUal CriHdsm in Auburn Tkeohgual Semautty

FOUR VOLUMES

NEW YORK AND LONDON

FUNK 6? WAGNALLS COMPANY

1906

Ck>FTU»Br, 1906, bt

rUNE & WAQNALLS OOMPAl<iY

IPrinied in the United Statee of Ameriea}

Published, April, 1906

CONTENTS

PASS

LUKS 1

John 213

Thb Aotb 416

THB GOSPEL ACXX)RDING TO

LUKE

Forasiinioh as manj hare taken in hand to diawup a narra- tl^e oonoerning those matters which have been ^fulfilled among ns, (2) even as th^ deUvered them unto ns, who from

^ Or, fuay ettdbUahed

Luke, fhe friend and companion for many years of the Apostle Paul, gives an account in the introduction of how he came to compile the following history of the gospel. He himself was not an eyewitness of these things which are reported in this history, and which by all Christians are considered once for all as requisite for their salvation. But many who have been in the same condition have made the attempt to prepare such a history such as that which we, e. g^ receive from Mark, which gospel Luke, too, as it very plainly ap- pears, was also acquainted with. These writers have drawn their materials from the traditions of those who were from the beginning of the public ministry of Jesus His constant companions, and who later also became ministers of the word, and who were accordingly both in duty bound to preserve these traditions, and entitled to do so. In this way we hear that Mark

1

[I, 8-4 WEISS 'S COMMENT AR T

the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word, (8) it seemed good to me also, having traced the course of all things accurately from the first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus; (4) that thou mightest know the certainty concerning the > things ' wherein thou was in- structed.

^ Or. word: * Or, vahich thou toawt taught hp word of mouth,

drew his knowledge of these fitcts chiefly from Peter. But the first Evangelist, too, had to a large extent de- pended for his narratives on the written account of the Apostle Matthew, in which he found not only longer discourses and sets of sayings, but also a num- ber of historical narratives, in Vhich some memorable word of Jesus constituted the central thought. And that Luke, too, was acquainted with these oldest accounts,

8 will soon become sufficientiy clear to us. But when he decided to write a history of the gospel, he certainly must have been in possession of other sources also, from which he drew, as well as the accounts of Matthew or the tradition of Peter as compiled by Mark ; for he assigns as a reason for his undertaking, that from the beginning, i. e., before the period when the reports of these eyewitnesses begin, he had carefully traced all those facts, i. e., had tried to investigate them carefully from oral and written traditions. But what he has in this way learned, he now wants to write down for his friend Theophilus in the form of a consecutive historical narrative, which will reproduce the facts in their historical order. True, it is not his purpose to write a history in our sense of the word ; for

4 the facts that here come under consideration are those upon which our salvation is founded. For this reason his purpose can only be to instruct his friend accurately in the absolute certainty of the doctrine of salvation, which Theophilus has learned through the narrative of the facts upon which this salvation is founded, and

2

LUKE [1,6-10

(6) There was in the days of Herod, king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zaoharias, of the course of Abijah : and he liad a wife of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisa- beth. (6) And they were both righteous before Gkxi, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blame* less. (7) And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were wad ' well stricken in years.

(8) Now it came to pass, while he executed the priest's office before Ckxi in the order of his course, (9) according to the custom of the priest's oflSce, his lot was to enter into the * temple of the Lord and bum incense. (10) And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the hour of

* Gr. odoonoecl tMir dayt. * Or, MmedMMif.

which goarantee it. But as Luke himself was a pupil of Paul, the doctrines in which Theophilus had been instructed will doubtlessly have been essentially those of this apostle.

True to his promises, Luke goes back to the an- nouncement of the birth of the Baptist ; and the sud- den change from the good Oreek of the Introduction to the narratiye proper, written in Hebraistic style, after the manner of the Old Testament books, in the follow- ing, shows that he possessed this story already in written form. First, the parents of the Baptist are 6 described a priest of the eighth of the classes of the priesthood that one after the other had the service in the sanctuary, and his wife from a high priestly family, both conforming to the ideal of Israelitist purity by a rigid observance of all the commandments of the law, 6 both much advanced in years, and who, as they had so far. been childless, had long since given up the hope of hav- 7 ing children, which are the pride of the genuine Israelite Then we are transferred to the hour when the aged 8 priest, because his class had the service in the temple, 10 was attending to the duties of his office, and, who, because the different kinds of priestly offices were distributed by lot^ was engaged in bringing the incense offering, in

8

J

1, 11-17] WEISS' 8 GOMMENTART

inoenae. (11) And there appeared unto him an angel of the liord standing on the right side of the altar of inoenee. (12) And Zacharias was troubled when he saw fttm, and fear fell Qpon him. (18) But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: because thy supplication is heard, and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou sbaU call his name John. (14) And thou shalt have joy and gladness ; and many shall rejoice at his birth. (16) For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and he shall drink no wine nor ^ strong drink ; and he shall be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb. (16) And many of the children of Israel shall he turn unto the Lord their God. (17) And he shall 'go

^ Gr. ailwro. * Some andent anthorittos read oome tiigk htfore hiM/aoe.

which the prayers of the people standing without in the courts ascended on high. It was here that the angel of the Lord appeared to him, and the pious priest was filled with fear at the presence of the divine mes-

11 senger. But the angel quieted his fear ; for he could an-

12 nounce to him the hearing of the prayers of the people, which he had just brought before (rod, and which, as

18 always, petitioned for the sending of the salvation that had been promised to Israel. For his wife had been selected to give bixth to a son, whose divinely-given

14 name shall be John, i. e., Gkxl is gracious, which is to indicate that the grace of Qod has been turned to the people. For this reason, not only he, but all the pious in the nation, will rejoice at his birth ; for this son will, according to his calling, be great in the eyes

16 of the Lord ; and while he in his consecrated life will abstain from all that will cause bodily drunken- ness, he will from his earliest youth be filled by the Holy Ghost In this way he will in the spirit and

16 in tiie power of Elias be the precursor of Grod, who

17 is coming with salvation to His people, in order to convert again many who have fallen away from Gkxl, as is predicted in Mai. iii. 24; to awaken the parental love that has become cold in the hearts of the

4

LUKE [1, 18-83

befbie his face in the splritand power of ESijah, to torn the hearty of the fathers to the ohildren, and the disobedient to walk in the wisdom of the just ; to make ready for the Lord a people prepared/or him. (18) And Zaoharias said unto the angel, Whereby diaU I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife > well stricken in years. (19) And the angel answer- ing said onto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God ; and I was sent to speak unto thee, and to bring thee these good tidings. (20) And behold, thou shalt be silent and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall come to pass, because thou believedst not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season. (21) And the people were waiting for Zaoharias, and they marvelled ' while he tarried in the * temple. (22) And when he came ont, he could not speak unto them : and they peroeiyed that he had seen a vision in

*■ Gr. adtnfnMd in htr dayt. * Or, aihUiarrying, * Or, tametuary,

fafhers, and will transform all the disobedience of the people into a desire for pleasing God, so that God may find, when He comes, a people prepared for Him. But when the priest asks for a sign of this, that he and 18 his wife in their old age are to receive the blessing of a 19 son, the angel makes himself known as one of the highest servants of Gk>d, who has been specially sent to bring him this joyfol news, and whose words ought to have been a sufficient guarantee. Hence the sign de- manded of him will consist in this, that as a punish- . ment for his unbelief he is to be dumb until the time when the promise of the angel has been fulfilled. And in reality Zacharias, when he comes out to the people awaiting his return, and they eagerly ask him why he has remained in the temple so long, was able to give them no reply; and as they then thought that he must have seen a vision in the temple, the impression of lirtiich had deprived him of speech, he is only able to make a sign to tiiem not to ask, but he remains dumb. When Zacharias, after the period of his public service has elapsed, returns home» and BUsabeth had become

6

I, 28-39] WEISS 'S COMMENT AB T

the ^ temple : and he continued making signs onto them, and remained dumb. (28) And it came to pass, when the days of his ministration were fulfilled, he departed unto his house.

(24) And after these days Elisabeth his wife conceived ; and she hid herself five months, saying, (26) Thus hath the Lord done unto me in the days wherein he looked upon m«, to take away my reproach among men.

(26) Now in the sixth month the angel Gkibriel was sent from Gk)d unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, (27) to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David ; and the virgin's name was Mary. (28) And he came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art ' highly favored, the Lord is with thee.^ (29) But she was greatly

^ Or, endued with grttce,

'Many aDoient authorities add 6leMedart thou among women. See ▼er. 4S.

28 pregnant^ she withdraws from all society with others for

25 five months, in order to live solely for the worship of Grod and to thank Him who had in mercy looked down upon her and taken away the disgrace of her unfroit- fulness, as she says.

In good literary style the narrator interrupts the story of the birth of the Baptist by reporting the an-

26 nouncement of the birth of Jesus. This, too, is de- scribed as having taken place through the angel Gabriel ; and it is expresdy emphasized, that it was a betrothed

27 maiden to whom he was sent. In this connection we are informed that Mary lived in the Galilean town named Nazareth, and was a descendant of the house of David, which we have already heard, Matt. i. 16, from her

28 betrothed Joseph. The angel salutes her as the re- cipient of much grace, who is under the special provi- dence and care of God ; but here, too, the virgin is af- frighted at the appearance of the divine being, and es- pecially because she is in vain pondering the possible reasons for this angelic salutation, which seemed to point to divine assistance in troublous times, and she

29 could not ima^e what its sigmficance was. For the

6

LUKE [I, 80-85

troubled at the saying, and oast in her mind what manner of salutation this might be. (80) And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary : for thou hast found ^ favor with Gk>d. (81) And behold, thou shalt oonoeive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call his name Jbsub. (82) He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High : and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David : (83) and he shall reign over the house of Jacob ^ for ever ; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. (84) And Mary said unto the angel. How shall this be, seeing I know not a man ? (85) And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Spirit

Or, graot. * Or. tmto <A« a/Qf.

fialatation declares that she is in favor with God, whose good will rests upon her. Therefore she is to give birth 80 to a son, whose name Jesus (cf . Matt. i. 21) already points 81 to the &ct| that in Him God has prepared salvation and help for His people. In what way this is to take place, can be shown to the Virgin only through the revelation of God in the form in which she was accus- tomed to read this in the Old Testament prophecy. This 32 Son of hers was to be so great, that He was to be called 33 by the name which in the Old Testament is applied by Qod only to the promised Bringer of redemption as the object (rf His special love and providence. He will re- establish the throne of His father David, and His king- dom will not reach an end, as was the case with that of David (Is. ix. 6). Only after Mary had, in view of 84 this promise, declared in the consciousness of her virginity, that she had had no relations with any man, is the deep mystery of the divine grace which she is to receive revealed to her. The Holy Ghost, as He in the 85 act of creation rested upon the waters, shall descend upon her (cf. Matt. i. 10), and thereby the divine power is to produce that Holy Child within her, which, in a different sense than that of the Old Testament, is to be called the Son of God. We are informed that Mary from the house of David is related to the family of Elisabeth,

7

1,36-40] WEISS' 8 COMMENTARY

shall oome upon thee, and the power of the Moet High ihall overshadow thee : wherefore also ^ the holy thing whioh is begotten * shall be called the Son of Gk>d« (36) And behold, Elisabeth thy kinswoman, she also hath conceived a son In her old age ; and this is the sixth month with her that * was called barren. (37) For no word from God shall be void of power. (38) And Mary said, Behold the * handmaid of the Lord ; be it unto me aocording to thy word And the angel departed from her.

(39) And Mary arose in these days and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Judah ; (40) and entered

t Or , flkil foJUolk <f to be ftom «Jh4iS be ooOad JU>Iy, tfc0 Sb» o/ 0(Ni.

* Some Miclfliit AUthoiitles inaert of iKee*

Or, if. « Gr. btmdmaid.

belonging to the high priestly aristocracy, since the priests were permitted to marry women from other

86 tribes than that of Levi. For the angel describes the prq;nancy of her relative Elisabeth, who had been un- froitfol down to her advanced age, as a miracle of Ood and as a sign to Mary of that which has been promised her,8incethe former could be known already by the fact

87 that it was in the sixth month. That such miracles were possible is already shown by the old passage, (3en. zviii. 14, which is here stated in a new form to mean that every word of God, such as that spoken to Elisa- beth andMary, bears within itself the power of its own

88 realization. When Mary thereupon declares her will- ingness to submit^ as becomes aservant of the Lord, for the realization of this wonderful coimsel of (3od, this presupposes to say, that she well knows what suspicions will be cast upon her by human eyes because she is a virgin (Matt. i. 19.)

In a deeply thoughtful manner the first two narratives

are interwoven in the history of the visit of Mary to

80 Elisabeth. We are here informed that the aged

priestly couple lived in the Judean hills, in one of the

40 priestly cities there named Juttah (cL Jos. xzL 16). To

8

LUKE [1,41^

Inio the hoiue of ZmohMriaB and saluted EUaabeih. (41) And it came to pass, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Maxy, the babe leaped in her womb ; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit ; (42) and she lifted up her voice with a loud cry, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. (48) And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord diould come unto me? (44) For behold, when the Yoioe of thy salutation came into mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. (45) And blessed i^ she that ^ belicTed ; for there shall be a fulfilment of the

1 Or, baliewd fHuAthxttAxMbt,

this place Mary, in obedience to the suggestion of the angel, hastens, in order to convince herself of the sign that had been given her, and to become certain of her faith in the miracle that had been promised her. But in a vastly higher sense than she had expected was 41 this confirmation given her. For scarcely had she 42 greeted Elisabeth when the latter, filled witii the Holy Ghosts with a loud cry of joy, salutes her as the blessed one among the women, who bears already in her the fruit upon which the blessing of (jk>d rests. She calls 48 Mary the mother of her Lord, of the promised Messiah whose visit is a great honor for her. And now she 44 confesses in which way the Holy Spirit, who has filled her, had taught her to reoognize in Mary the mother of the Messiah. A movement of the child in her womb, in itself perfectly natural, she had interpreted as a joyful recognition of the fulfilment of all the hopes and prom- ises of Israel that approached in the coming of Mary. And now she declares the youthful mother blessed ; for only &ith in the fulfilment of a miracle that had taken place in her own case could enable her to hear and see this fulfilment^ which she must already have ex- perienced if the Spirit made known to her that Mary was to give birth to the promised Messiah. But Mary's 46 answer to this greeting was that hymn of praise, which

9

1,4W3] WEISS' 8 COMMENTARY

things whioh have been q;K>ken to her fkom the Lord. (46) And iiary wid,

My soul doth magnify the Lord,

(47) And my spirit hath rejoioed in God my Saviour.

(48) For he hath looked upon the low estate of his

1 handmaid: For behold, from henceforth all generations shall oali me blessed.

(49) For he that is mighty hath done to me great things ;

And holy is his name.

(60) And his meroy is unto generations and generations On them that fear him.

(61) He hath showed strength with his arm ;

He hath scattered the proud * in the imagination of their heart. (68) He hath put down prinoes from tAeir thrones, And hath exalted them of low degree.

1 Or. hofnOmaitd, * Or, dy.

46 from its first word is called the Magnificat. This shows

47 how thoroaghly the virgin was at home in the Psalms of the Old Testament, from the words of which it is com- piled, and that especially the hymn of Hannah (1 Sam.

it.) was in her heart. Rejoicing she glorifies Qod as the Saviour, because He had exalted her, from the lowly

48 estate of being the bride of a humble carpenter, through His grace to an unexpected greatness, in which now she will be declared blessed by all the generations of men.

49 Only the Almighty could do such things; but He shows the evidences of His power only in acts of holi- ness and mercy to those that fear Grod, and she men-

50 tions these as given in the Scriptures. In these is shown how Grod proves the power of His arm by scatter- ing, as though they were straw, those who defame Him

51 through their haughtiness. He hurls down the mighty from their thrones ; but, according to His mercy, exalts the lowly and fills the hungry with good things while

58 the rich go away empty. In accordance with these

10

LUKE [1, 68-08

(68) The hungry he hath filled with good things ; And the rich he hath sent empty away.

(64) He hath given help to Israel his servant. That he might rememher meroy

(65) (As he spake unto our fathers) Toward Abraham and his seed for ever.

(56) And Mary abode with, her about three months, and returned unto her house. (57) Now Elisabeth's time was fulfilled that she should be delirered ; and she brought forth a son. (58) And her neigh-

deeds of (3od in the past^ in that miracle which He has begun to do in the case of Mary, He has taken pity on 54 His servant Israel, because it seemed as though He had forgotten the mercy which He had promised to show to Abraham and to his seed forever, in order, now, as it were remembering this, to fulfil everything that He had promised to the fathers. It is impossible that the stay of Mary for three months with Elisabeth could have only the one purpose of convincing herself of the truth of the sign that had been given her ; rather her purpose was, in the house of the priest, to do everything in her power, in order that when it should become known to the world what had been promised her, people would then believe her when she appealed to the cause of her condition that was revealed to her. If the story of Mary is here brought to a close in order to take up again that of Elisabeth, it is thereby not made impos- sible, that Mary still remained there and witnessed the scenes that made the circumcision of John so memo- rable, and which confirmed in her anew, the belief that the time of redemption for which she was to furnish the Redeemer, was at hand.

When the time had come at which Elisabeth was to 67 give birth to her promised child, she bore, as had been 68 predicted, a son, and all the relatives-and neighbors re*

11

1,59-68] WEISS' S COMMENTARY

bon and her kinsfolk heard that the Lord had magnified his meroy towards her ; and they rejoiced with her. (59) And it oame to pass on the eighth day, that they oame to circumcise the child; and they would have called him Zacharias, after the name of his father. (60) And his mother answered and said, Not so ; but he shall be called John. (61) And they said onto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. (62) And they made ^gns to his father, what he would have him called. (63) And he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marvelled all*

joiced because Gkxl had shown her such great mercy. But when they were assembled on the eighth day, in 69 order to circumcise the child, in accordance with the demands of the law, in connection with which it was the custom to give the child a name, they began to call the child Zacharias, after the fatlier. But the mother objected, for she wanted the name to be John, in order to indicate the grace of God that had

60 been given her through his birth. And when the rela- tives reflected, that this name was not to be found among his relations, they made signs to the father, who, of

61 course, was present at the festival, to decide the matter.

62 The latter thereupon wrote upon a tablet^ for which he 68 had asked, the words : His name shall be John. He

knew that there was nothing more to say in this case, since the name had been given to the child by divine revelation, and that too in a higher sense than that in which the mother made use of it. But those present oould only be astounded at this agreement of the two parents in regard to the name, which under the cir- cumstances sounded remarkable to them, and concerning which the parents could not have had a consultation. But by the giving of this name everything that the angel had predicted was fulfilled, and thereby the limit of the time had come for what the angel had predicted ^

12

LXTKE [I.64-W

(64) And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue looted, and he spake, blessing Qod. (65) And fear came on all that dwelt round about them : and ku these sayings were noised about throughout all the hill country of Judsoa. (66) And all that heard them laid them up in their heart, saying, What then shall this ohild be? For the hand of the Lord was with him.

(67) And his father Zaoharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying,

that Zacharias was to be dumb; therefore this oondi- 64 tion ceased as miracoloosly as it had come. And when Zacharias makes use of his regained power of speech for the purpose of glorifying Gfod, he now doubtlessly will have spoken of all those things that happened to him and of that mysterious hour in the templCi in which the birth of his son and the high mission of the latter was revealed to him. But then the narrator re- 66 ports that that which occurred at this circumcision 66 for a long time still constituted the subject of discus- sion on the hills of Judea^ because it filled the hearts of the people, and in connection with this the question was constantly being asked, what was to become of the child, the development of which was so evidently under the providence of God, he thereby intentionally shows that he gathered his information there in reference to what he has reported ofthe birth of the Baptist. But he lias other 67 evidence for this in the prophetic hymn of Zacharias, which the latter, filled with the Holy Spirit^ spoke, and which has been preserved ias a remembrance of those memorable days. The aged priest sees in that which has bogun to be fulfilled in Mary, and his own case, after the manner of the Old Testament prophets, al- ready the actual fulfilment before his eyes of QoA*s counsel of redemption. Gkxlhas looked down in mercy upon His people and has brought them deliverance.

18

I, aS-74] WEISS' S COMMENTARY

(68) Blessed he the Lord, the God of Israel ;

For he hath visited and wrought redemption for his people.

(69) And hath raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of his servant David

(70) (As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets that have

been from of old),

(71) Salvation from our enemies, and from the hand of all

that hate us ;

(72) To show meroy towards our fathers, And to remember his holy covenant ;

(78) The oath whioh he sware unto Abraham our father, (74) To grant unto us that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies Should serve him without fear,

68 But Zacharias cannot understand this salvation in any other way than had been hoped and described by the prophets. As the horn in which lies the strength of the animal is the symbol of power, he sees under this image the coming of the power of redemption in the

69 house of David. This is the Messiah, who was the

70 son of David, and will ascend the throne of his fathers, as God has spoken through the mouth of His prophets, who have from the beginning been His messengers.

71 What He brings first of all is deliverance from their external enemies, from the hands of the Grentiles, which lay heavy upon the people. For this the &thers all had hoped, who had died under the burden of this external

72 misery ; and they feel this now as a mercy that is be- stowed upon them, provided this burden is removed from their children. It seems as though God was now again becoming mindful of His holy and inviolate covenant, in which He had at one time promised His people the

78 blessings of the true redemption, or of the oath with which He had sealed the promises given to their father Abraham. But the deliverance that He had promised

74 His people was always intended to be of a spiritual char-

14

LUKE [1,75-78

(7&) In holiness and righteousness bef oto him all our days,

(76) Tea, and thou, ohild, shalt be called the prophet of the

Most High ; For thou Shalt go before the faoe of the Lord to make ready his ways ;

(77) To give knowledge of salvation unto his people In the remission of their sins,

(78) Because of the ' tender mercy of our Qod,

' Whereby the dayspring from on high * shall yisit us,

* Or, Aeari of mereu, » Or, Wherein,

* Many ancient autooiities read hath vieiied im.

acter. The deliverance from the hands of the enemies 75 was only to serve the purpose that they, being free from the fear of their enemies, could serve (3od in perfect piety and righteousness according to the law, as these things shoold be ever done before His pres- ence and enable them to serve Him all the days of 76 their life. But in order that this may be the result of this deliverance that God has given, the prophet of the : Most High goes before the presence of Gk)d, who is approaching in His Messiah, who is to prepare for Him the way, in accordance with Is. xv., 8 ; and to show this, Zacharias now turns to his son, prophesying of him as he had of the Messiah. He is to bring to 77 the people through his preparatory work, i. e., by call- ing upon the sinners to repent, the knowledge that the promised redemption is near ; for only a penitent na- tion, which has the forgiveness of sins, can partake of this salvation. But he does not proclaim this salvation 78 as one that the people are to merit by their repentance, but that is to be given them because Ood was moved by compassion to cause the Sun of salvation in the time of redemption to arise upon the heavens, so that the light of salvation would shine for those who are sitting in the terrible darkness of death. Only ihis experience of redemption will then direct their feet aright on the way that will lead to salvation, to that true service

15

II, 1^] WEISS' 8 COlDtENTART

(79) To shine upon them that sit in darknen and the tfiadoir

of death ; To guide our feet into the way of peace.

(80) And the ohild grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his showing unto IsraeL

{J Now it came to pass in those days, there went out a decree from Geasar Augustus, that all ^ the world should be enrolled. (8) This was the first enrolment made when Quirinius was governor of Syria. (8) And all went to enrol themselves, every one to his own dty. (4) And Joseph also

of God, by which the people will glorify God aa their 80 Savioor. The preliminary history of the Baptist doees with the statement that the dUld grew in body and spirit^ and that John dwelt in the desert to the day which (}od appointed that he was to be made known to all the people as His prophet.

1 In those days in which the Baptist began his min- istry, the Bmperor Augustus published an edict which ordered a general census of all the inhabitants of the

2 entire Roman Empire, which also applied to the states of the allied kings, like that of Herod ; as later on, when Judea constituted a Roman province, a special census was taken here, Le.,a registration of all the inhabit- ants according to their property for the purpose of taxation. And as in connection with the first census also the flnancial status of each person was given, Luke calls this a census. In this connection he states that the former was the first census which was taken under the direction of Quirinius, who was governor of Syria, because the latter naturally, too, had charge of the later census after Judea had become a part of Syria. It was decided that in the state of Herod this census should be taken according to the old Jewish

8 custom, by means' of which every one was to go to the 4 city whence his fiunily originated; and this it was that

16

LUKE [n,6-8

we&tnp fh>m GaUlee» oat of the oity of Nazarethy into Judada, to the city of David, which ia called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David ; (5) to enrol himself with Mary, who was betrothed to him, being great with child. (6) And it came to pass, while they were there, the days were fulfilled that she should be delivered. (7) And she brought forth her firstborn son; and she wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

(8) And there were shepherds in the same country abiding in the field, and keeping ^ watch by night over their flock.

* Or, nigh.UvoaU^9,

cansed Joseph of Galilee to go from Nazareth, where he lived, to the birthplace of David (cf . 1 Sam. xvii. 12). Since he descended from a &mily that came from the 6 house of David, the native city of the latter now was accordingly, too, that of Joseph. He traveled in company with Mary, who now was legally already his wife, but in the sense of Matt. i. 26, was still a betrothed virgin, since the child that she carried in her womb was the gift of a divine miracle. But of course she had to be registered as his wife, and the son that had been promised her, if he was bom before the day of the census, as his own son. And as a matter of foot Mary 6 was then delivered of a child while at Bethlehem, and 7 her son was entered upon the list as the firstborn of Joseph. But, because the little country town was over- crowded by members of the tribe, and Mary and Joseph had not found a place in the house of the good friend where they had expected to stay, they had to seek a place in a stable. In this way it happened that the Saviour of the world, bom in Bethlehem, did not find His first resting-place in a cradle, but in a manger. It happened to be the time of year when the fiocks still 8 remained out in the open field over night, and the shep- herds spent the night there with their flocks, when the message of what had occurred on this holy Christ- 9 2 17

11,9-15] WEISS' JS COMMENTARY

(6) And an angel of the Lord stood by them and the glory ofihe Lord shone round about them : and they were sore afraid. (10) And the angel said unto them, Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all the people: (11) for there is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is ' Christ the Lord. (12) And this it the sign unto you : Te shall find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, and lying in a manger. (18) And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising Gk>d, and saying,

(14) Glory to Ood in the highest,

And on earth 'peace among* men in whom he is well pleased.

(15) And it came to pass, when the angels went away from

^ Or, Anointed Lord.

* Hany ancient authorities read pea^ce^ good pUatvrt among men,

* Qr. men of good pleastire,

11 mas night was made known to them. An angel of the Lord, surrounded by the heavenly glory, in which God is accustomed to appear, declares to the shepherds, who are frightened by this vision, the message of joy, that in the city of David the promised Deliverer, the

12 long expected, anointed Ruler, i. e., the Messiah, had been bom for all the people. The fact that they would find there a newly bom child, yet wrapped in swad- dling clothes, and lying in a manger, was to be to them a sign that he who had announced to them the fact of His birth could also declare to them His mission. At once this was confirmed to an undoubted certainty;

18 for suddenly the whole host of the heavens appeared, gathered around the angel, glorifying Grod. Their

14 hymn of praise announced that Grod was being glori- fied in the highest heavens, in this, that through the newly-born Messiah salvation had appeared upon earth. And He would bring the long-desired peace to all those who through His precursor had become pleasing to Gkxl.

14 And when then the shepherds hastened to Bethlehem

16 in order to see the thing announced to them through the

18